Pedagogical Experience

I have been fortunate enough to have had a wide variety of teaching positions helping high schoolers, college students, and others gain a deeper understanding of science and math. Below is a summary of the major instructional experiences that I have had so far in my career, listed in chronological order from top to bottom. For a more condensed and complete picture of my pedagogical journey, please check out my CV and Professional Development.

Role: High School Teacher

When: 2014-2016 (2 years)

Subject: Standard-Level Physics

Where: Marblehead High School (MA)

Total # of Students: 179

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I taught four full-year classes of algebra-based, introductory physics (CP, or College Preparatory, level) with a strong laboratory component for two years in a public high school on the North Shore of Boston. Most of the students in my class were juniors, and physics was a required course for graduation in this district. Teaming up with the other teacher that taught this same course, I helped align the CP Physics curriculum to state standards and made the focus of the course more conceptual while maintaining its crucial mathematical aspects to better serve our students. I was particularly proactive in communicating with special education faculty and staff to help approximately 15 students/year with learning disabilities. This position confirmed my love of teaching STEM and inspired me to return to school so that I would be able to teach students at both the secondary and post-secondary level.

For my first opportunity to teach at the college level, I led two weekly discussion (recitation) sections of 16 students each for “Chemistry 17” as part of the intensive, biologically-focused track of Organic Chemistry courses at Harvard University. In addition, the course instructor entrusted me with preparing and leading the recorded, weekly problem-solving review session to the entire course of 260 students. In my own discussion sections, I successfully implemented active learning strategies that I had recently learned at teaching conferences; for example, my students did a “gallery walk”, where each group of four worked out a different mechanism problem on a large poster and then walked around to each other’s posters to compare and contrast problem-solving strategies. Overall, through this semester I learned how the nature and effectiveness of teaching methods changed in large group and small group college settings.

Role: Teaching Fellow

When: Fall 2016 (1 semester)

Subject: Organic Chemistry I

Where: Harvard University

Total # of Students: 31 (260*)

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Role: Head Administrative Teaching Fellow

When: Spring 2017 (1 semester)

Subject: General Chemistry

Where: Harvard University

Total # of Students: (107*)

I was in charge of overseeing the course materials, daily website updates, and weekly logistics for the course “Physical Science 1” at Harvard University, which enrolled 107 students that semester. After creating and curating each weekly set of practice problems, I coached other teaching staff in effectively implementing them in their hour-long discussion sections. As part of the administrative team for the course, I also previewed course materials and assessments, offering feedback on clarity and curricular alignment. This experience allowed me to adapt and grow my class organizational skills in the college classroom.

While I lived in Chicago, I volunteered at the Museum of Science and Industry. After starting out by greeting guests and helping them find their way through the labyrinthine exhibit halls, I facilitated demonstrations about gravity for passing-by guests using a vacuum tube and Jenga blocks. This opportunity helped me appreciate how non-academic STEM experiences complement traditional classes.

Role: Science Connections Facilitator

When: Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2018 (16 months)

Where: Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)

Role: Graduate Teaching Assistant

When: Fall 2017/Winter 2018/Spring 2018 (1 year)

Subject: General Chemistry I/II/III

Where: University of Chicago

Total # of Students: 18/18/16

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As a graduate student, I led one group of approximately 17 undergraduates over a three-quarter sequence of general chemistry for both discussion section and laboratory section. Though not all students were able to stay in my section over the whole year due to scheduling constraints, I loved being able to see students grow from one quarter to the next. Drawing on my past administrative and review session experiences, I initiated a yearlong series of twelve exam review sessions with my fellow graduate teaching assistants, and together we collaboratively generated practice problems to go over during these reviews. Since laboratory practice was a main focus of the course, I developed individualized lab report growth plans for all of my students during the last two quarters to help them cultivate their science communication skills. Over the course of the year, I also began to integrate regular metacognitive reflection into my class.

In my second year of graduate school, I spearheaded a team of graduate students in developing teaching materials for a new course called “Modern Materials Technologies”, funded by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Chicago. We then traveled to a local South Side high school to pilot the class, and monitored student engagement to facilitate improvements for future years. This outreach activity highlighted for me the importance of continuing to evolve high school curricula so that today’s students are ready for the future. As of the 2020-2021 school year, the program was still running.

Role: Lead High School Instructor

When: 2018-2019 (1 year)

Subject: Modern Materials Technologies

Where: Lindblom Math and Science Academy (IL)

Role: TASC Mathematics Tutor

When: Sept. 2019 – Dec. 2019 (4 months)

Where: New York Public Library

During my first semester in New York City (pre-COVID), I volunteered to help local adults review math for their high school equivalency exam. Though this experience was brief, it reminded me that there are many adult students in high school and college, all of whom deserve an accessible, equitable education.

(*Numbers in parentheses indicate full course enrollment)